The last two years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership rise by nearly eight per cent during the global pandemic.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed.
One of the terrible truths of dog ownership is that we are likely to outlive our adored pet, with the average dog living just 10-13 years – but there's a fairly substantial gap between the breeds that live the longest and shortest lives.
The Chihuahua, for example, can expect to live for between 15-20 years, while some larger dogs will be around for less than half as long.
Here are the 10 breeds that have the shortest average lifespans.
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1. Dogue de Bordeaux
Also known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux has the shortest average life of ang dog breed, tending to live between 5 and 8 years. They have obstacles to overcome from the very start - with one of the highest stillbirth rates of any breed - while their brachycephalic (flat) face means that they are at a higher risk of developing breathing problems than other dogs. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Great Dane
In common with many large dogs, the enourmous Great Danes lives a relatively short life - averaging 6-8 years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Bernese Mountain Dog
Another gentle giant, the beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog also lives around 6-8 years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Irish Wolfhound
The world's tallest breed of dog is also one of its most short-lived, with an average livespan of 6-10 years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images